At least 13 Bollywood stars have been hit by what Indian officials say is the country’s second wave of Coronavirus, with COVID-19 cases in India reaching an all-time high in some states.
One state that has been particularly hard hit is Maharashtra – which has noted a considerable increase in cases in the past few weeks.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked central teams to visit Maharashtra and review the reasons for the spike in cases in the state.
In addition, the Maharashtra government on Sunday announced new restrictions, including a night curfew from 8 pm to 7 am in the state and a weekend lockdown.
Bollywood stars meanwhile have not been able to escape the virus and among those who tested positive for the virus include:
Kumar has become the latest celebrity to test positive for COVID-19. News broke on Sunday of Kumar’s diagnosis. In addition, Kumar’s own ‘Sooryavanshi’ was scheduled to release in cinemas on April 30. However, with cinemas now shut in the new lockdown, dates could be affected in coming weeks.
Hour’s after Kumar was tested positive, actor Govinda also got his results back showing he too had the virus. His wife Sunita Ahuja told local media that the 57-year-old actor has been experiencing “mild symptoms” and is following all the necessary protocols – he has isolated himself and is currently under quarantine.
Actress Alia Bhatt announced she had tested positive on April 2 and will remain under home quarantine. In a post on Instagram, the actress wrote: “Hello all, I have tested positive for COVID-19. I have immediately isolated myself and will be under home quarantine. I am following all safety protocols under the advice of my doctors. Grateful for all your love and support. Please stay safe and take care.”
Fatima Sana Shaikh
On March 29 actress Fatima Sana Shaikh also informed her fans that she’s facing a similar scenario. “I have tested for COVID-19 and currently following all the precautions and protocols and have been quarantining myself,” said Shaikh in an Instagram post.
Bollywood actor Vikrant Massey revealed he had tested positive for COVID-19 and through his Instagram account on March 28 he urged all those who were in contact with him to get tested. Massey had resumed filming for the Bollywood thriller ‘Love Hostel’ last month, but the actor maintained that he had taken all the necessary precautions. “Despite necessary precautions on the shoot, I have tested COVID-19 positive. In self-quarantine. Requesting all those who’ve come in contact with me in the last few days to get tested, ASAP. I am taking the prescribed medications and adequate rest and currently doing fine,” he wrote in his post. The actor also cautioned his fans to adhere to social distancing and safety protocol rules.
On March 27, Paresh Rawal also announced he had tested positive for the virus. The Bollywood veteran took to social media to inform everyone about his condition, while warning those who have been in contact with him to get tested as well.
On March 22, Kartik Aaryan announced he had tested positive for COVID-19. The actor took to his Instagram and shared the news with his fans on Monday. He also urged his fans to pray for his recovery.
Bollywood actor Aamir Khan also tested positive for COVID-19 on March 24 and was at home in quarantine. He also urged everyone who had come into contact with him to get tested.
During the second week of March, Indian National Award winner Manoj Bajpayee also tested positive for COVID-19. He told Gulf News last week that he was still feeling weak but was recovering.
‘Gully Boy’ actor Siddhant Chaturvedi also tested positive last month. He immediately informed his fans in a social media post, while reassuring them that he was doing well and isolating at home.
Ranbir Kapoor along with Ashish Vidhyarthi and filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali also tested positive for the coronavirus last month.
In the past 24 hours, India recorded 93,249 new coronavirus cases taking its overall caseload to almost 12.5 million (12,485,509).
COVID tragedy unfolding in India as Ganges festival continues
India’s new coronavirus infections hit a record high on Wednesday, as crowds of pilgrims gathered for a religious festival despite oxygen shortages and strict curbs in other areas.
The country reported 184,372 new cases in the last 24 hours, health ministry data showed, taking total infections to 13.9 million. Deaths rose by 1,027, to a total of 172,085.
Despite the spike in infections, hundreds of thousands of devout Hindus gathered to bathe in the Ganges river on Wednesday, the third key day of the weeks-long Kumbh Mela – or pitcher festival.
Reuters quoted Sanjay Gunjyal, the inspector general of police at the festival, as having said around 650,000 people had bathed on Wednesday morning.
“People are being fined for not following social distancing in non-crowded ghats (bathing areas), but it is very hard to fine people in the main ghats, which are very crowded,” he said.
There was little evidence of social distancing or mask-wearing, according to a Reuters witness.
More than one thousand cases have been reported in Haridwar district in the last two days, according to government data.
From reporting less than 10,000 cases per day earlier this year, India has been the world’s worst-hit country since April 2 by new daily cases, with the government blaming a widespread failure to heed curbs on movement and social interaction.
Reuters reported that India’s richest state Maharashtra, the epicentre of the nation’s second wave, which accounts for about a quarter of the country’s cases, is due to impose stringent restrictions from Wednesday to try to contain the spread.
Elsewhere, overstretched private hospitals are turning patients away, placing an increasing burden on government facilities.
In the western state of Gujurat, local media showed a long queue of ambulances waiting outside Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, with some patients being treated there while they waited.
A hospital source, who declined to be named as he is not authorised to speak publicly, said this was because a lot of private hospitals were short of oxygen and were sending their patients to the public hospital, Reuters reported.
This comes after cases have risen exponentially over the past week.
According to Gulf News, patients are also being given oxygen in waiting rooms, lobby areas in hospitals were being converted into COVID wards, doctors in the country’s top hospital were sick en masse and the gas furnace grills at crematoriums were melting with bodies piling up at cremation centres.
Gulf News also reported that this comes amid relentless outrage and questioning – from citizens and the Congress – for the government to fast track approvals for foreign made vaccines.
According to Gulf News, unlike last year, there is real fear among Indians today who claim the country is in complete meltdown.
The complacency that ‘it doesn’t happen to us’ has finally been pricked – although not at the Ganges festival.
Reports indicate that Bollywood has virtually shut down, judges have the virus, the variants are more critical than what the country realises and the people are staring at lockdowns amid frantic pleas for help.
Vaccine campaign now open for everyone over 18
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) announced Monday all people above the age of 18 can now receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Ministry said that people can visit ten vaccination centers in Kabul – Indira Gandhi Hospital; Jamhuriat Hospital; Istiqlal Hospital; 102-bed Hospital in Khairkhana; 100-bed Hospital in Dasht-e-Barchi; Ahmad Shah Baba Hospital; Tani Kut and Sar-e-Kotal Hospitals; Kabul central polyclinic hospitals, and Kabul regional clinic, Hutkhel.
MoPH officials said that pregnant women and people under the age of 18 will not be vaccinated.
Afghanistan started the rollout of its vaccine drive in early February after India donated 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
The MoPH stated that 15,781 people have received a dose of vaccine in the last 24 hours.
According to the Ministry’s tally, so far, 145,291 people – including 27,516 teachers and 77,919 health workers – have been vaccinated since the beginning of the vaccine campaign.
Meanwhile, the MoPH has recorded 122 new positive cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.
The MoPH’s tally shows that 57,364 people in Afghanistan have been infected with the virus since the first case detected in Herat last year.
So far, 2,529 have died of the virus, and 52,005 others have recovered.
Iran reports 258 coronavirus deaths, highest daily toll since Dec
Iran reported 258 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Sunday, the highest daily toll since early December.
That brings the total number of fatalities from the coronavirus to 64,490 in Iran, the worst-hit country in the Middle East.
Health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari told state TV that 21,063 new cases were identified in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of identified cases since the pandemic began to 2,070,141.
“Unfortunately, in the past 24 hours 258 people have died from the virus,” Lari said. State TV said it was the country’s highest daily death toll since Dec. 10.
Iran’s Health Minister Saeed Namaki, in a televised news conference, warned about more fatalities in the coming week if Iranians fail to adhere to health protocols.
On Saturday, Tehran imposed a 10-day lockdown across most of the country to curb the spread of a fourth wave of the coronavirus. The lockdown affects 23 of the country’s 31 provinces.
Businesses, schools, theatres and sports facilities have been forced to shut and gatherings are banned during the holy fasting month of Ramadan that begins on Wednesday in Iran.
Taliban warns foreign forces to leave by May 1
Austin arrives in Brussels ahead of troop withdrawal announcement
NATO forces to leave together from Afghanistan: Blinken
Sharp increase in civilian casualties this year: UNAMA Report
US intelligence report warns prospects of peace ‘remain low’
Children as young as 11 beheaded by ISIS in Mozambique
Myanmar activists plan new protests after weekend bloodshed
Bill Gates says world should be back to normal by end-2022
North Korea fires two short-range missiles
Eight killed in shooting spree at 3 US massage parlors
Tahawol: Exclusive interview with Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, Head of the Harakat-e-Nejate Afghanistan
Sola: Danish critiizes HCNR’s plan for Turkey conference
Zerbena: Ministry of Public Works launches new projects
Morning News Show: The CASA-1000 project discussed
Sola: Preparations for Istanbul summit discussed
World4 days ago
Gun salutes planned across UK to mark the death of Prince Phillip
Latest News5 days ago
China vows “necessary measures” after US blacklists Chinese supercomputing companies
Latest News3 days ago
‘Desperate situation’ for Ghani as his power is undermined: NYT
Latest News4 days ago
Al-Qaeda operating across Afghanistan: Report
Latest News5 days ago
Taliban attack kills nine border force members in Herat: sources
Latest News4 days ago
Khalilzad meets with Ghani twice in one day over peace proposal
Latest News4 days ago
Massive fire breaks out at liquid gas facility in Herat
Latest News4 days ago
Political parties to present united front at Istanbul Summit